The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Julie

Last month Abby Smith reminded us that we should never turn away from difficulty, that we should embrace it and learn from it to truly live. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, phenomenal people from across the globe chat about why life is so amazing.

Today I’m excited to bring you guys this awesome gal in Paris I’m happy to know, Julie Klene from Les Petits Pas de JulsThis lovely thing just makes you smile. Her travel blog is absolutely delightful, with beautiful imagery to compliment her zest for people, culture, and life.

If you need a regular dose of positivity and adventure, I suggest you follow her. You’ll instantly see why I invited her to be a part of this series, because she embodies the Life Enthusiast spirit like it’s nothing.

Connect with Julie on Facebook.


I don’t know Britt outside of this little space we share on the internet. But I’ve come to see her as someone important, because her words always reach something delicate in me.

I know she has that ability with many more people out there. So, I was very moved when she thought I’d be Life Enthusiast Chronicles worthy.

Thank you, Britt, for trusting me here! 

julie klene new york

I don’t know if I’ve always been like that or if it happened slowly over the last few years.

All I know is that I’ve always loved hanging out with friends and family, enjoying the little moments with them, cherishing each kiss and embrace, and the opportunity to take off almost any time to see what it was like someplace else.

Somehow, everything might be related to Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams kind of looked like my dad, and “Seize the Day” has always resounded in me like something I should listen to, in order to avoid that moment “when I came to die, [and] discover that I had not lived” (Henry David Thoreau). 

When I think about it, it must have started a few months after my father passed away; I was 15, he was 42, he shouldn’t have left me there and then.

After he left, I told myself I’d live the life he would have been proud of seeing me live.

A life I’d be proud of too, a life that would bring me happiness, love, and through which I’d be able to share love and happiness around me.

I took every opportunity as the best chance to show him he should have stayed. Him, my uncle, my grand-fathers and my god-father. To show them all they should have stayed.

And then, I flew away.

When I came back to France from living in Montana, USA, as a foreign exchange student when I was 18, I headed straight to the University to become a Sign Language Interpreter because I had discovered in the USA that it was what made me tick—it still does, today!

I found the job of my life and I enjoyed every little thing about it, being the bridge between two worlds, so people from each could reach to the other.

At the same time, I met some super interesting people, who made me discover that I loved bungee-jumping, driving a motorcycle, sky-diving and traveling far.

skydiving new zealand

I got married, thought I was on the right track and fell off my happy cloud when I realized I had completely misjudged that happy moment. But, then, a friend who had gone on her own before-I-turn-30-world-trip, showed me the way again.

After she came back from her trip, I sold everything I owned, took a year off from work and left. As easy as that; it felt right even though I didn’t have a difficult life.

Finding myself on the road by myself (5 months in South America, 1 in Australia, and 4 in Asia) opened my eyes on a world I had only had a glimpse of before, opened my eyes on who I really wanted to be, opened my eyes on Life.

Angkor Wat Cambodia

On that road, I realized I loved hiking—and could hike way up high! I loved eating at markets, I loved hearing the locals’ stories, I loved scuba-diving, I loved traveling on my own but also loved meeting new friends along the way.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my brother’s company when we met in Thailand, I learned I could be me even if that new “me” was not what other people would have “me” be.

And, most of all, I met Raul, who is now the best husband I could ever dream of.

I have been traveling for the past 5 years now, Living the Dream. Every time I’m in a new place, I feel like that child in front of a Christmas tree, ready to unwrap all the gifts that place has to offer.

Machu Picchu Peru

I climb up towers, I hike far, I push myself to the limits, I make new friends, I go back to them, I work in Patagonia because I’ve found there a kind of peace that’s indescribable.

I come back to France and enjoy my birth-country much more that I did before.

I learn.

Back to work now! My friends in France wanted me to stay a little longer and offered me a job position I couldn’t refuse: working in Paris as a Sign Language interpreter again. 

And, although Raul has had to go back to Mexico for a few weeks, I know we’re on the right track, I know we’ll find our own pace, here, there or somewhere else.

Because we have each other and we know what makes us tick.

Travel, Enjoy, Love, Give, Live. And “Carpe Diem” always!   

Jul’

48 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Julie

  1. Eli Pacheco says:

    I had to keep myself from skipping ahead to find the happy ending here. It’s not a happy ending though, is it? It’s a happy now. And it can’t be found without the risk of loss and rediscovery.

    Julie’s story is inspirational, Britt. Thanks so much for having her share it here. It’s what I wish not only for myself, but for all those I love and care about.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a wonderful example of a life enthusiast! How brave to sell everything, quit the job, and just take off. Something so many people dream of but would never dare do. Wonderful to see it lead to such positive outcomes. Makes us think anything is possible!

    • Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

      Hey Carrie, everyone keeps saying it’s brave to leave everything, but truly, it just felt right. and it no harder decision to make than the decisions we make everyday to be happy. 😀 I hope a lot of people find the courage to follow their dreams, above all. Be it at home or on the road.
      and yes, Anything is Possible! At least, that’s what I think in my Wonderful World!

  3. Browsing the Atlas says:

    You absolutely personify the idea of ‘Life Enthusiast.’ I could hear your joy for life in every word. I’m so glad you and Britt found each other so that I was now introduced to you, too. 🙂

  4. scillagrace says:

    It’s so nice to know more of your story, Juls! I find this an inspiration as I think of my kids who lost their Dad when he was 47 and they were just a bit older than you were. Finding what makes you ‘tick’ is important work in the grief process…I’m still doing that myself. I love your positivity! May we all find our happy place and live large!

  5. Minuscule Moments says:

    Julie you have lived two lives already, by the sounds of it and I know when I travelled and lived away from home it made me realise how special every day is… no matter where you are. All the best on your next big adventure. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

      I am actually living what I call my 4th life, Kath 😉 I wrote about those briefly in my “About” page. A good number since it’s my favorite!
      Enjoy the trips too because you’re right, they teach so much! And give us perspective on our everyday life.
      Cheers!

  6. Karin Van den Bergh says:

    An absolute ‘life enthousiast post’! So inspiring! Ironically I just shared a moving article on facebook about a town that secretly learned sign language to surprise a deaf neigbour. I shared it because I had a deaf friend once (in kindergarten) who left such a deep impression on me I’ve always been intrigued by this world of silence. Learning sign language has been on my bucket list forever. Maybe your post (again 2nd time this week topic shows up) in hunching me to actually go do it 😉 Merci Julie d’avoir participé et partagé ton histoire ici. Bonne chance!
    Thanks Britt. You always seem to pick them right 🙂

    • Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

      Karin, I think things happen for a reason, maybe you should follow the signs and learn sign language! It’s a whole other world, culture… And things like that shouldn’t stay on your bucket list but be done!
      Thanks for your kind words and support! I’ll head out and read that post you talked about, I’m intrigued! 😀

  7. Kate Johnston says:

    Wow, you’re some brave. You are an inspiration to anyone out there who feels stuck or lost or restless. The fact you found a new life on your travels is incredible. Best to you.

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